Nonverbal communication in travel (part 2)


Guest Author:

Aldana She is a geographer, journalist and editor, but she likes to define herself as a traveler, writer and amateur photographer. After many "short" trips he decided to leave everything and went out with Dino to discover the world through his people. That trip lasted a year and a half and included an educational and magical project "by finger" through South America. Now they are preparing the second stage of Magic on the Road.
They can join through the blog Magic on the Road

Words more, words less, says that we Argentines do not need a visa to enter Russia since 2009. Thank you Denis! Another example of how to communicate in these situations, asking for help from those who speak the local language.

Likewise, upon leaving the country, it was hard for them to believe us ...

To get where to sleep

About 10 years ago we had the opportunity to visit Europe for the first time. One of our destinations was Italy. Like almost everyone who goes to Italy for the first time, we wanted to know Venice. We had been told that we could not sleep in Venice because it was very expensive, but that we could get off the train in a town on the continent where hotels would surely be cheaper. "It's a small town," they told us. The place in question was Mestre, that small town has nothing. We arrive at night, late, when the movement in the train station is getting smaller and the corridors begin to fill with people who will spend the night on the platform. As soon as we peeked through the door of the station we saw huge buildings with the marks of the most famous and expensive hotels in the world whose luminous sign told us “they were wrong”. A boy passing by told us that we could find a cheaper place on the other side of the road. We cross an endless corridor and leave the other side. There were no longer tall buildings, but low houses and lots of green. But I was desolate. Suddenly, we see an Asian couple approach where we were. It was the only possibility to ask someone something. We stopped them and asked them in English if they knew any place where we could sleep. The two looked at each other. They had not understood us. They spoke to us in Chinese.

Possibly they told us they didn't speak English. Then we turned to the signs: I pointed them with the index finger as saying "you", I pointed to my head, as if asking "if you knew" and I put my palms together, took them to the side of my head and inclined my head over them at the same time he closed his eyes. Ahh !! They both said at the same time and with signs they explained that in such direction, two blocks away, there was a place. Mission accomplished.

For all!

Did you ever think that technology could be an ally of communication by gestures, signs and drawings? Well it is! With you, ladies and gentlemen… ” Google translator or Google translator”, Which made us live a nice experience.

August 2010. St. Petersburg. Russia. The bus that took us from Tallinn, in Estonia, to St. Petersburg, in Russia, left us in the middle of the city. We did not know exactly where, but we were sure that we had arrived in the city because the traffic and ambient noise were very noticeable. We went down, we were glad to see the central metro station nearby (because it was the one we had to go to) and we confirmed the big city by wanting to enter the subway and feel that people were in a hurry, that they were coming and going aimlessly direction and if you did not stand firm, with your feet on the ground, they turned you like a top with a backpack and everything.

We managed to see on the wall the map of the subway network. It was all in Cyrillic, but Jeffrey, our couch, had given us directions with the colors of the lines and the number of stations that we should count. So we decided to take a risk and got into the underground cave. Incredibly we managed to reach the destination, even with a combination of train and everything. I remember that one of the things that surprised us most about the subway was the depth of the escalators. You can read that post in this link.

After a few laps in the sun and the increasingly intense heat, we found the direction we were looking for. It was a square building, not very tall, old, with a main entrance that, through a dark corridor, led to a courtyard and this, in turn, into another corridor and another courtyard. Around the first courtyard were doors, several doors, all were rusty and permeated the place with a greater aspect of deterioration. We had to look for the number 59. We looked carefully at the doors, but we didn't see any 59 anywhere.

Until we got a little closer to the door that caught our attention and there were all the numbers, including 5 and 9. Now the part of ringing was coming. We began to play the different numbers forming 59, 95, 59 with the numeral, etc., etc., until a boy came out. The boy did not look anything like Jeffrey, because Jeffrey is Colombian, with a slightly darker complexion than Russians in general and speaks Spanish, while the one who received us is blond, tall and does not understand a word of Spanish or English . We didn't know what to do, we didn't know if we were in the right house, at the right time.

We decided to enter. We go up some rusty and narrow stairs to a door and enter the apartment. We were waiting in the living room-kitchen, sitting in an armchair that then, for five nights, would be our bed. The boy who had received us disappeared for a good time, we only listened to the background television. After several minutes, he approaches us with the notebook in his hand and shows us the screen. There we could see that the Google translator told us:

Sorry, I don't speak your foreign language. Jefrrey is on his way. Tea coffee?

We were in the right place!